I am writing this on Sunday evening, and tomorrow I have the conservation officer (CO) and our district councillor coming to the farm to look at our 20′ x 30′ shelter adjacent to our café.
It has been up for two years, but unfortunately one person complained, which meant that 18 months after receiving the complaint we had a visit from the planning officer, and a further two months after that a request for us to put in retrospective planning for it. This has been passed by all concerned except the CO, because it is in the curtilage of our farm house which is listed.
He has to answer this question in his report: “How will proposed alterations affect historic character of building and its setting?” His response was, “The result is very unsatisfactory and it does seem to dominate the farmyard space and therefore adversely impact upon the setting of the principal building and the curtilage building to which it is attached.”
Now this is his opinion; no-one else has a problem with our application. He has so much power for someone unelected. My rebuttal which I will put to him tomorrow is that, if we had not developed our farm shop and café over the last 11 years those buildings with no agricultural value would probably have fallen down by now.
We have restored and refurbished them using the original beams and features so please accept a compromise on our shelter. Also our 450 year old farmhouse, the principle building which is 50′ from the shelter needs a lot of upkeep, so surely it makes sense to aid us in having a profitable business to do this. Well one can hope, I will let you know next month how we get on.
Farmer Focus: Andrew Freemantle